Woman and ex-lover face sentencing Tuesday over husband’s death

Gobabis resident Rachel Rittmann and her ex-lover Ryno du Preez who were in August this year (2019) found guilty of killing her husband, Rudolf Henry Rittmann, in August 2013, will face sentencing in the High Court here tomorrow, Tuesday.

High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg, who is presiding overt the murder trial, is expected to hand down the sentences in the matter on Tuesday morning at about 10h00.

The two convicted persons were each found guilty on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice in a judgement handed down by Judge Liebenberg on 29 August 2019.

The duo was, however, not found guilty and were acquitted on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Rachel, however, was also found guilty on a lesser charge theft after the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt through the presentation of the State witnesses' evidence that she was found in unlawful possession of her late husband's wallet and a cellular phone shortly after the commission of the offence.

Du Preez was found guilty as charged and upon his own pleas of guilty to the planning and the actual execution of the killing of the deceased, while Rachel was convicted as a result of the truthfulness of evidence presented before court by the prosecution team.

The prosecution, led by State Advocate Martino Olivier, through the presentation of the evidence said both Rachel and her ex-lover had conspired and acted with a common purpose in the planning and the actual execution of the killing of the deceased person.

According to judgement, Rachel actively participated in the early planning to bring about the death of her husband in order to cash in on the inheritance of the deceased, while Du Preez agreed to kill Rudolf by stabbing him to death with a knife at his home in Gobabis on 23 August 2013 because he was in love with Rachel at the time.

They, thereafter, transported the body in the deceased's own vehicle to an area between the Hosea Kutako International Airport and Kapps Farm in the Khomas Region, where they set the vehicle alight with the body of the victim inside in order to conceal evidence.

In his submissions for judgement, State Advocate Olivier also asked the conviction of the two accused because the murder was planned to the finest detail by both Rachel and Du Preez and she (Rachel) was always an integral part of the plan to murder her husband for his pension and insurance money.

Legal Aid-funded defence lawyers Ileni Gebhardt and Johan van Vuuren are representing the two convicts.

Rachel is being held at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, while Du Preez is kept at the Windhoek Correctional Facility's holding cells since his arrest, with no option to post bail.

Source: Namibia Press Agency